Recently, you’ve heard a great deal about how millennials are changing the way that businesses work. Their preference for flexible work environments has led employers to rethink office culture, while their mastery of all things digital has enabled them to find new and innovative ways to be productive.
It may come as no surprise that, at 35 percent, millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. What’s interesting to note is that the remaining 65 percent encompasses a total of four different age groups, which makes this the first time in modern history that five generations have been represented in the workplace.
Let’s get to know a little bit about what makes each generation unique, and explore how Samsung printers help multigenerational offices work more effectively.
Meet the Modern Workforce
Simply put, the workforce is more age-diverse than ever because more professionals are delaying retirement, and the post-millennial generation, known as Generation Z, is beginning to make its presence known in the workplace.
Before we examine tools to help businesses better manage multigenerational workforces, here’s a quick snapshot of each group’s typical characteristics, as well as their representation in the U.S. labor force¹.
1. The Silent/Greatest Generation: Ages 73-90; approx. 2 percent of the U.S. labor force; tend to be hardworking, loyal, and strictly adhere to rules.
2. Baby Boomers: Ages 54-72; approx. 25 percent of the U.S. labor force; tend to be team-oriented workaholics.
3. Generation X: Ages 38-53; approx. 33 percent of the U.S. labor force; tend to be independent and tech-savvy.
4. Millennials: Ages 22-37; approx. 35 percent of the U.S. labor force; tend to be flexible, embrace the very latest technologies, and value collaboration.
5. Post-Millennials/Gen Z: Those born after 1996; approx. 5 percent of the U.S. labor force; tend to value flexibility and meaning in their work.
Of course, the ‘typical’ characteristics listed above don’t apply to everyone. However, they do provide us with a solid foundation for examining ways to motivate and manage each group more effectively.
A Balancing Act
Employees in their early 20s and 30s are motivated differently than coworkers in their 50s, 60s and 70s, and approach their work with a unique set of values and expectations that may not necessarily align with those of their older coworkers.
These differences can present significant obstacles for managers, whose job it is to foster an environment that brings the entire team together. It’s therefore important for managers to take steps to ensure that their employees feel valued and respected, and that each clearly sees how his or her work is contributing to the company’s mission.
One way to achieve this is by creating multigenerational teams and laying out clear goals for them to achieve. Working together will help employees get more familiar with one another’s styles and strengths, and ultimately help them work more effectively. Holding each member of the team accountable for their contribution will help foster an environment in which employees of all ages view each other as equals.
Bridging Generational Gaps
Another way to help foster a workplace culture that makes all employees feel like they’re standing on equal footing is to equip the office with tools that cater to everyone’s strengths. Tools like Samsung’s versatile multi-function printers (MFPs).
Samsung MFPs, including the M4560FX, combine powerful features and simple controls that can help employees of all ages work more efficiently.
For example, the M4560FX’s easy-to-use tablet display and customizable UI enable all employees, including those who may not be familiar with the latest tech, to easily execute print and scanning jobs. The printer also includes support for Samsung’s Printing App Center, which offers access to a wide variety of apps and widgets that can help employees streamline workflows.
As they say, a business is the sum of its people. Ensuring that each member of your multigenerational workforce feels valued, and enjoys access to tools that allow their skills to shine through, can help your business remain successful for generations to come.
¹ Fry, Richard. “Millennials Are the Largest Generation in the U.S. Labor Force.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 11 Apr. 2018, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/.
© Copyright 2018 HP Development Company, L.P.
On September 12, 2016, HP Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s printer business and the acquisition was completed on November 1, 2017. HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
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